Celebrating the CBSA Stars of 2016!

glass award with starMembers of the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers (CSCB) have uniquely close ties with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) staff across the country. We work in the same locations all across Canada, we share a common interest in keeping Canadians safe while facilitating trade, and we even speak the same language of Customs compliance and border management.

Every year, CSCB members recognize CBSA staff across the country for doing their job with knowledge and goodwill and making a positive difference to the trade community every day. The recognition may be for a single situation which made a difference, or for an ongoing attitude of cooperation and professionalism. We thought we’d find stories at a local port, a regional office, or at national headquarters, and the only restriction was that we wanted this recognition to be for the efforts of people below the senior management level.

We think of these people as CBSA Stars.

Let's meet the twenty one CBSA Stars of 2016 and their nominators.

Brandon Kinsey, Pacific Region

Nancy Halas Mitchell of Pacific Customs Brokers recognized Brandon Kinsey.

"[Brandon Kinsey] took over for Paula Ross who retired in December of 2015 just prior to ARL coming into effect. Brandon was new to the role and what a mess it was. He showed nothing but infinite patience and handled everything very calmly and professionally. He was very helpful when we looked to him for assistance and information."

David Lewis, Pacific Region

Peter Loos of Pacific Customs Brokers recognized David Lewis.

"[David Lewis] was very helpful dealing with known short shipments at Prince Rupert. He was accessible to call if there was a problem with a shipment and was able to help fix the problems. He was approachable to get any matters addressed and resolved in a rational time frame and result."

Nancy Unger, Pacific Region

Linda Cybulski of Livingston International Inc. recognized Nancy Unger.

"Nancy [Unger] went above the call of duty to assist us and our clients with a number of shipments of Gypsum Board. She took the time to help find the best option for everyone involved. Her patience, professional attitude and measures to act in the best interest of Canadian importers and our company were very much appreciated."

Angela Young, Prairie Region

 

Bruno Biondi of Geo. H. Young & Co. Ltd recognized Angela Young.

"I was dealing with Angela [Young] on a very time sensitive matter. She went above and beyond keeping me informed along the way and providing timelines to when the next action would take place and keeping to them.

The situation in question required authorization from Ottawa to process. After everything was said and done Ottawa rejected the file. Angela was very sympathetic with the situation…"

Marwan Chehade, Prairie Region

 

Bruno Biondi of Geo. H. Young & Co Ltd recognized Marwan Chehade.

"Marwan [Chehade] has been handling a very technical compliance verification for us. He goes out of his way to ensure that you fully understand CBSA's position and spent a great deal of time with me on the phone answering any questions I had. He is very responsive, it has been a pleasure dealing with Marwan."

Aleksandar Despotovic, CBSA HQ Ottawa

 

Kim Campbell of mkmarin trade services inc. recognized Aleksandar Despotovic.

"[Aleksandar Despotovic] represents CBSA on CBP's COAC North American Single Window. I have had the privilege of working with him for the last year on this file. Aleks represents Canada and CBSA in a very professional and thoughtful manner. His hard work and collaborative spirit has provided great credibility to our processes in Canada and has influenced the agenda for both the NASW and truck export manifest initiatives in the US. He has been a real partner helping to create and think through current and potential border work flow. He is also a champion of industry feedback and co creating work plans. He most definitely deserves this recognition."

Brenda Wilson, CBSA HQ Ottawa

Peter Smoke of Livingston International Inc. recognized Brenda Wilson.

"Brenda [Wilson] has been our main contact as we implement the new Single Window - Integrated Import Declaration.
The implementation has been challenging as we implement new PGA's and come across different import scenarios but Brenda and the entire Single Window team have supported our efforts every step of the way as we progress.

Any challenge is always addressed with a positive outlook in order to fix any issues as soon as possible or address any technical questions.
We appreciate all the support from the entire SWI team."

Kaelan Murray, CBSA HQ Ottawa

 

Kirsten Selby of Expert Customs Brokers recognized Kaelan Murray.

"With all of the changes in CBSA, ARL has to be the one that has confused people the most, especially when it comes to cheques. Kaelan [Murray] has been extremely helpful any time we have asked for his help tracking down information on a cheque or even the status of one. He responds quickly and gives us clear information we need, and if he can't, he directs us to the right department or person we need. He is a pleasure to deal with and deserves a huge thank you."

Sharon Crawford, CBSA HQ Ottawa

Janice McBride of Canadian Society of Customs Brokers recognized Sharon Crawford.

"Sharon Crawford has a natural gift for consultation. Her presentation of Commercial Vision content to various stakeholder groups was clear and consistent while at the same time tailored for the audience’s interests. Additionally, her subject matter knowledge supported true dialogue with participants. When Sharon leads a session, you feel that your input has value and you appreciate the thoughtful engagement as you listen to how Sharon interacts with others.

As I watched Sharon through several presentations over the last year, I knew that she was a perfect nominee for a CBSA Stars Program. Thanks Sharon for bringing your expertise, experience and attitude to CBSA stakeholder consultations -  your contribution is most definitely appreciated."

Sheila Skuce, CBSA HQ Ottawa

Gililan Jiwani of Geodis Wilson Canada Ltd recognized Sheila Skuce.

"Sheila [Skuce] has been a great guide and support in the past with the G7 registration program and now with the eMmanifest process. She persists to come up with the solution and goes the extra mile to give us a way to successfully resolve the technical difficulties and understand the process for future to improve on the challenges."

Tim Carmichael, CBSA HQ Ottawa

Suzanne Barriault of FedEx Canada recognized Tim Carmichael.

"Tim is an outstanding individual who understands the impact of government policy and is committed to working with industry for the best possible outcome. Tim has been a great support to us over the past years; he is very conscientious, professional and a wonderful ambassador for CBSA.
In 2016 he helped clarify a misinterpretation of clearance directive at many ports in Canada for medical nuclear isotopes.

We had discovered an inconsistency in the clearance procedures impacting patients suffering from cancer… Importers and brokers were confused as to which CNSC import license to provide at each port and how to present the entry to CBSA.

Tim took the time to thoroughly understand the issue at hand…

Integrated courier processes are complex, Tim took the initiative to engage FedEx, CBSA and CNSC to clarify policy and procedures. He went above and beyond to find a workable solution that met the needs of all three parties. He provided clarification of import requirements and procedures for all involved. 

This solution benefits Canadian patients, government and industry." 

Angela Kwok, GTA Region

 

Emma Million of Omnitrans Inc. recognized Angela Kwok.

"Angela [Kwok] has always been very helpful whenever we have questions concerning the record keeping requirements for non-resident importers. Angela is always willing to answer our questions and to guide us in the correct completion of the Agreement to Maintain Records Outside of Canada forms by our NRI clients. There are circumstances where the CBSA's D Memoranda do not fully and completely explain the CBSA's policy, this is where someone like Angela is a valuable resource -- to provide us with the guidance necessary for us and our clients to comply with the CBSA's regulations."

Valerie Fudge, GTA Region

 

Emma Million of Omnitrans Inc. recognized Valerie Fudge.

"Valerie [Fudge] was instrumental in helping us file several appeals on behalf of our client. The appeals were somewhat complicated and our first attempt at filing the Section 60 B2s were missing some details.

Valerie took the time and effort to contact us and guide us through each issue so that we could correct our Section 60 B2s in order for her to process the appeal files. Instead of simply rejecting the Section 60 B2s, Valerie virtually took us by the hand and walked us through each file, one-by-one, until we got it right."

Vishala Shembedasie, GTA Region

 

Emma Million of Omnitrans Inc. recognized Vishala Shembedasie.

"Vishala [Shembedasie] has been tremendously helpful when asked to confirm our understanding of the CBSA's appeals process. She always goes the extra mile to address questions and concerns in a prompt, thorough and pleasant manner. She is very clear and extremely knowledgeable and is always willing to help when asked. Vishala is a valuable resource for us when validating our interpretation of the CBSA's complex regulations and policies as they pertain to the appeals process."

Kenneth Beechie, Southern Ontario Region

Bethe Jarcaig of Farrow recognized Kenneth Beechie.

"[Kenneth Beechie] has been an integral part of the success Farrow has had in managing the ARL implementation process. He is the subject matter expert and a consummate professional. Ken provides time sensitive information in order to assist our organization with reconciling our monthly SOA. He effectively manages the month end payment process and always represents the best interest of both CBSA and the Trade Community. His attention to detail is highly commendable as it assists all of us in resolution of Importer specific issues. Ken demonstrates his dedication and ability at every opportunity as we continue to rely on his expertise while trying to navigate the recently implemented ARL offset program. We, in Windsor, are most fortunate to have Ken as a continued ARL resource and applaud his efforts on behalf of Farrow, the entire Windsor Broker community and CBSA."

Rosa Quaggiotto, Southern Ontario Region

Alfonsa Tiseo of Livingston International Inc. recognized Rosa Quaggiotto.

"[Rosa Quaggiotto] is very helpful to both brokers and drivers. She always goes above and beyond her duties. Every time we ask to check on an entry or to process as soon as possible she is always very willing to assist and do what she can to help us…  She is very knowledgable in her job and Customs is very fortunate to have her working for them. Rosa is a pleasure to work with and is one of the best officers here in Windsor."

Rhonda Owchar of Livingston International Inc. recognized Rosa Quaggiotto.

"Rosa is always willing to go the extra mile to help us out."

Diana Favaro of Livingston International Inc. recognized Rosa Quaggiotto.

"Rosa is more than helpful ALWAYS!!!  If we have a question, she is more than happy to help. She goes above and beyond to help us."

Ann-Marie Madore, Atlantic Region

 

Sarah Kennedy of Beaver Brokerage Inc. recognized Ann-Marie Madore.

"Ann-Marie Madore is very approachable, fair and always willing to lend a helping hand or guidance, as is the whole Superindent team in Woodstock. This group of individuals is always extremely helpful and are very knowledgeable. Their determination and partnership is what really makes things run smoothly here at CBSA.

When one is unavailable there is always someone to reach out to. Not only do the Superintendents have a large responsibility but when absent those Acting Superintendents have very large shoes to fill and they do a great job. I truly feel this group needs to be acknowledged as a whole and not just individually. They work together to make it all happen and they do a great job and are a great bunch of people."

Bev Richardson, Atlantic Region

 

Sarah Kennedy of Beaver Brokerage Inc. recognized Bev Richardson.

"Bev Richardson is very approachable, fair and always willing to lend a helping hand or guidance, as is the whole Superindent team in Woodstock. This group of individuals is always extremely helpful and are very knowledgeable. Their determination and partnership is what really makes things run smoothly here at CBSA.

When one is unavailable there is always someone to reach out to. Not only do the Superintendents have a large responsibility but when absent those Acting Superintendents have very large shoes to fill and they do a great job. I truly feel this group needs to be acknowledged as a whole and not just individually. They work together to make it all happen and they do a great job and are a great bunch of people."

Mark Richardson, Atlantic Region

Sarah Kennedy of Beaver Brokerage Inc. recognized Mark Richardson.

"Mark Richardson is very approachable, fair and always willing to lend a helping hand or guidance, as is the whole Superindent team in Woodstock. This group of individuals is always extremely helpful and are very knowledgeable. Their determination and partnership is what really makes things run smoothly here at CBSA.

When one is unavailable there is always someone to reach out to. Not only do the Superintendents have a large responsibility but when absent those Acting Superintendents have very large shoes to fill and they do a great job. I truly feel this group needs to be acknowledged as a whole and not just individually. They work together to make it all happen and they do a great job and are a great bunch of people."

Natasha Saulis, Atlantic Region

Sarah Kennedy of Beaver Brokerage Inc. recognized Natasha Saulis.

"Natasha Saulis is very approachable, fair and always willing to lend a helping hand or guidance, as is the whole Superindent team in Woodstock. This group of individuals is always extremely helpful and are very knowledgeable. Their determination and partnership is what really makes things run smoothly here at CBSA.

When one is unavailable there is always someone to reach out to. Not only do the Superintendents have a large responsibility but when absent those Acting Superintendents have very large shoes to fill and they do a great job. I truly feel this group needs to be acknowledged as a whole and not just individually. They work together to make it all happen and they do a great job and are a great bunch of people."

Pat Gallivan, Atlantic Region

Sarah Kennedy of Beaver Brokerage Inc. recognized Pat Gallivan.

"Pat Gallivan is very approachable, fair and always willing to lend a helping hand or guidance, as is the whole Superindent team in Woodstock. This group of individuals is always extremely helpful and are very knowledgeable. Their determination and partnership is what really makes things run smoothly here at CBSA.

When one is unavailable there is always someone to reach out to. Not only do the Superintendents have a large responsibility but when absent those Acting Superintendents have very large shoes to fill and they do a great job. I truly feel this group needs to be acknowledged as a whole and not just individually. They work together to make it all happen and they do a great job and are a great bunch of people."

To view articles on past Stars and ceremonies, please refer to 2012, 20132014, and 2015.